Woman has Swiss citizenship revoked after suspicious divorce
A woman who was granted Swiss citizenship through civil marriage has had her passport revoked after she divorced the man only months after the application was approved. The woman has tried to appeal the decision at the Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne, without success.
Lady accused of marrying for easy access to Swiss citizenship
In 2010, the lady in question married a man from Switzerland. Once wed, she chose to apply for citizenship through simplified naturalisation - a faster, more streamlined way to gain citizenship through civil marriage to a Swiss citizen. Her application was granted in 2015.
However, suspicion was raised when the couple filed for divorce only months after the application was completed. This was compounded by the fact that once the divorce was finalised in 2017, the woman swiftly remarried while living in Lebanon. After an investigation, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) concluded that the woman had married the Swiss man with the sole intention of receiving easy access to citizenship, a practice banned in civil marriage law.
As she is also a citizen of Morocco, the SEM ruled that she should be stripped of her Swiss citizenship. Despite the supposedly unusual circumstances, the SEM noted that around 50 passports are revoked every year due to suspicious divorces, in addition to isolated cases relating to war crimes, terrorism, or treason.
Citizenship appeal rejected by Federal Supreme Court
In response, the woman decided to appeal the decision, which ultimately made its way to the Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne. There, she argued that “the occurrence of an extraordinary event is likely to explain such a rapid deterioration of the marital bond.”
In October 2021, the judge ruled in favour of the government, noting that “the SEM may cancel the facilitated naturalisation obtained by false statements or by the concealment of essential facts.” The judge agreed that the person had acquired citizenship through “disloyal and deceptive behaviour,” dismissing the woman's appeal.